The Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has urged Jamaican farmers to capitalise on the Agri-linkages Exchange (ALEX) platform, as he is convinced this will be a huge catalyst in equipping them to benefit from the successes of tourism.
According to a report on jis.gov.jm, the platform, which was set up to facilitate the purchase and exchange of goods between farmers and buyers within the hotel industry, will result in an increase in the use of local produce in tourism enterprises, and support the national thrust to reduce imports. “With the help of ALEX, we bring hoteliers in direct contact with the farmers, retaining more of the economic benefits of tourism in Jamaica itself,” Mr. Bartlett said.
As one-third of all tourist money is spent on food, it makes sense for Jamaica to target agriculture in order to reduce imports. This way the use of locally grown fruits and vegetables can be increased.